A woeful Thursday for the blog last week, though Marking's unfortunate accident at the start was 'one of these things'. There's just no accounting for something like that. Found myself having to bite my tongue on twitter as some usually decent judges indulged in some splendid aftertiming. :)

Some talking up the horse pre-race with the usual 'Let's Go Marking' Potential Superstar' and many such excited comments, turned post race into 'still a dodge' and the like. But well done to those who did tip the winner Pre-Race' and a few top class tipsters did indeed put up Rich Tapestry. Racing is about having strong views - but also expressing them pre-race :)

Anyway may the view of the turncoats take hold, and we might get a better price next time! :) The blog's other two selections though were very flat, and no excuses. 

On the upside, Tobaco was a third consecutive weekend winner for the 'One for the Road' feature, and will be looking to keep that run going this week..

MAIN BETS

4.10 COOL COWBOY (NAP) almost looks too obvious, hopefully that will encourage the market to look for alternatives. Followed up an eyecatching 2nd to ReynaldotheWizard with a very easy success last time when stepped up to 7F, travelling sweetly and winning with more in hand than the winning distance (Ross looks well held on that form even though entitled to come on for the run and 4lbs better). As a result of winning cosily though, the selection has only gone up 4lbs, and this further step up to the mile could easily see further improvement. This is a better race and Cool Cowboy has a wide draw, but his way of travelling suggests that shouldn't be a problem. I think this horse could easily be capable of better things before the end of the Carnival season.

The biggest threat might easily come from Prayer for Relief who was a bit flat behind Frosted after a good reappearance. I would expect a much better effort this time, while the first time gelded Maftool has Group form, but still looks handicapped highly enough for this comeback run on a surface where he hasn't entirely looked at home in the past. American Hope might be well in off 102 too, but hopefully he's bumped into one this week.

5.55 A smashing race for a handicap, with potential stars like Cat O'Mountain, Faulkner and Let's Go clashing, and the very well handicapped but frustrating Artigiano also here. But the vote goes to EERTIJAAL (NB). If this race was on turf, would have been the Nap, but this surface can make a fool of even the finest horses, and Ertijaal is here on something of a fact finding mission ahead of a possible tilt on the surface on World Cup night. 

However, such was the nature of that staying on 2nd to Forries Waltz in a race which has worked out well already, he is difficult to oppose tonight. Very highly rated by his connections and clearly progressive, will be very hard to beat. Faulkner needs everything to drop right these days, but has the ability to make a race of it if getting the breaks in the straight.

OTHER RACES

A really good card this week. If Paul Hanagan can get Mastermind away well, he might get first run on the likes of Fils Anges and Dark Emerald in the opener, but confidence would be minimal in a trappy start to the card.

Tryster will be all the rage in the 4.45, while the ever gutsy HaafaGuinea will have his supporters, but Earnshaw (small ew bet around 8/1) was nearly back to his best when 3rd to Forries Waltz and will again be a big price.

Neither the sprint nor closing handicap will be on my betting radar this week, though I will be interested to see how Toscanini, a previous first time out winner, goes in the sprint and Flash Fire in the handicap is still on an excellent handicap mark.. 

MAIN BETS

Win Singles, E/W Double:

4.10 Cool Cowboy (NAP) 9/2 
5.55 Ertijaal (NB) 5/2

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ONE FOR THE ROAD: Three in a row for the feature with Tobaco scoring on Saturday. SEFRI had a bunch of Carnival entries this week, but runs here on Friday morning instead. Beat Jebel standing dish Forjatt last time and there didn't look to be any fluke about that, so is taken to follow up in a decent race.

Thanks as always for popping in, I'm not one to let a couple of bad weeks put me off, after three profitable years blogging the Carnival from 2013 to 2015! :)